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Interferon beta-1b reduces black holes in a randomised trial of clinically isolated syndrome.

Author(s): Nagtegaal GJ(1), Pohl C, Wattjes MP, Hulst HE, Freedman MS, Hartung HP, Miller D, Montalban X, Kappos L, Edan G, Pleimes D, Beckman K, Stemper B, Polman CH, Sandbrink R, Barkhof F.

Affiliation(s): Author information: (1)Department of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, VU University Medical Centre, The Netherlands.

Publication date & source: 2014, Mult Scler. , 20(2):234-42

BACKGROUND: Multiple sclerosis (MS) is characterised by inflammatory lesions of the central nervous system. Interferon beta-1b (IFNB-1b) has been shown to improve clinical and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) measures for patients with MS. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate whether IFNB-1b in patients presenting with clinically isolated syndromes (CIS) prevented persisting T1 hypointensities on MRI (persistent black holes (PBHs)). METHODS: In the placebo-controlled phase, patients (n = 468) were initially randomised to IFNB-1b (n = 292) or placebo (n = 176) for two years or clinically definite MS (CDMS). In the open-label phase (n = 418), both groups were offered IFNB-1b for up to five years. Lesions were classified as PBHs if T1 hypointensity persisted throughout the last available scan (minimum time one year). RESULTS: A total of 435 patients were evaluable for analysis. The number of PBHs/patient was lower in the early rather than the delayed treatment arm during both phases (.42 vs .71, p = .0102 and .70 vs 1.17, p = .0121). Exploratory analyses identified baseline characteristics that affected rate of conversion. CONCLUSIONS: Although the rate of lesions that converted to PBH showed no significant differences between groups, the numbers of PBHs per patient out of new lesions was significantly lower in IFNB-1b patients compared to patients on placebo. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: NCT00544037.

Page last updated: 2014-11-30

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